A Systematic Expository on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 8: CHRIST’S FAITHFULNESS AND OUR CONDITIONAL SECURITY
Hebrews 3:1 - 6
The epistle to the Hebrews speaks of the superiority of Christ over angels, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Old Testament prophets or any other person. We have already covered seven studies in Hebrews: 1. The pre-eminence of Christ (1:1,2) 2. The seven-fold presentation of Christ’s excellencies (1:2,3). 3. Identity and ministry of angels (1:4-7,13,14). 4. Christ’s superiority to angels (1:4-14) 5. The tragedy of neglecting “so great salvation” (2:1-4) 6. Christ’s voluntary humiliation (2:5-9) and 7. Christ: our Substitute, Saviour and Sanctifier (2:9-18).
The first two chapters set forth the superiority over Moses. The character and commission of Moses was remarkable. He was faithful in his devotion to God and self-sacrificing in his service for Israel. Yet great as Moses was, Christ far excelled him as the heavens are above the earth. Moses was a man of God; Christ was God Himself. Moses was a prophet, through whom God spoke; Christ was Himself “the Truth”, revealing perfectly the whole mind, will, and heart of God. Moses delivered Israel from Egypt; Christ delivers His people from the bondage of sin and from the everlasting burning.
Christ was immeasurably superior to Moses in His person, offices, ministry and work. These chapters of Hebrews clearly reveal the exalted dignity and unique excellency of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
EXHORTATION TO “HOLY BRETHREN”
Hebrews 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 3:5,6; Colossians 1:12; 2 Peter 1;3,4; Hebrews 12:2,3; 1 Peter 2:21; John 13:15; 2 Timothy 2:7,8
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling...”(Hebrews 3:1). The exhortation in this chapter is addressed to the brethren who believe in Christ. We are called “brethren” because we belong spiritually to the family of God. These brethren were referred to as “holy brethren” because of their divinely transformed character. “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren”(Hebrews 2:11). The holy brethren are “Partakers (sharers) of the heavenly calling. “They are also “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3,4).
The exhortation is to “consider... Christ”(Hebrews 3:1; 12:3; 2 Timothy 2:7,8). The word translated “consider” here means to thoroughly think of Christ so as to arrive at a full knowledge of Him. Thoroughly ponder on the dignity, excellency and authority of Christ. Our failure to consider and meditate on who He is and what He has done is the reason for being lukewarm and faithless. We love Him so feebly and trust Him so imperfectly because we do not sufficiently “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus”. To be strong, faithful and consistent, we must consider Christ, meditate often on Who and What He is , fix our eyes on Him in all circumstances of life.
EXALTATION OF CHRIST
Hebrews 3:1-4; John 3:34; 6:38; Hebrews 2:17,18; 4:14,15; 7:26-28; John 7:18; 8:29; 17:4; Matthew 16:18; 1 Peter 2:5-7.
Christ is “the apostle and the High Priest of our profession” The term “apostle” means one “sent forth” of God, and endowed with authority as His ambassador. Christ was frequently known as the “Sent One” (John 3:34; 5:36; 6:29; 7:29; 8:42; 10:36; 11:42; 17:3,21,23; 20:21). The general function of Christ as the Apostle was to make known the will of His Father. Our duty is to “hear Him”(Matthew 17:5; Deuteronomy 18:15,18).
Jesus Christ is also our “High Priest”. We have already learnt that He is “a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God”(Hebrews 2:17). As the apostle, Christ is God’s representative to His people. As the High Priest, he is our representative before God. As the Apostle He speaks to us from God, as our High Priest He speaks for us to God.
“Christ Jesus who was faithful to Him that appointed Him... worthy of more glory than Moses”(Hebrews 3:1-3). Faithfulness signifies two things: a trust committed , and a proper discharge of that trust. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ had a trust committed to Him and He faithfully discharged it. Christ’s concern from beginning to end was to be faithful to the One who sent Him. In childhood, he said, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). In the midst of His ministry, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me” (John 9:4). At the end, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). In Hebrews 3:3,4, Christ is presented as superior to Moses. Christ is presented as God that built all things (Hebrews 3:3,4; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).
EXAMPLE OF MOSES
Hebrews 3:2,5; Numbers 12:7; Exodus 40:16; Deuteronomy 4:5; 1 Timothy 1:12,16; Matthew 24:45;Luke 16:10.
“Moses was faithful in all His house”. The “house” used here, does not mean a physical building, but it signifies household or family as “the house of Israel”, meaning descendants or children of Israel. Moses was faithful to God in his responsibilities in the house (household, family, people) of God. He never withheld a word which the Lord had given him, either for Pharaoh or for Israel. In erecting the tabernacle all things were made according to the pattern which he received in the mount. He was faithful. We can be faithful.
ENDURING TO THE END
Hebrews 3:6,14; John 8:31; Colossians 1:23; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Exodus 32:33; Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Hebrews 10:23,35,38,39; Revelation 2:25,26.
“But Christ as a Son over His Own house, whose house we are, if...”(Hebrews 3:6). This house is a spiritual house, made up of believers in Christ. The brethren in verse one are partakers of the heavenly calling as well as members of the spiritual family or household of God.
The believer’s security is here shown as conditional. “Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence firm unto the end”(Hebrews 3:6). All believers are here reminded of the need to remain steadfast with God to the end of our pilgrimage. We must not give up our faith, consecration, loyalty and faithfulness in times of temptation and persecution. We must always remember that our Lord Himself said, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed”.
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